A daycare nap mat is convenient, comfortable and healthy.
Preschools, daycare, and kindergartens often use nap mats for a nap- or rest-time break during the day. Often daycares start to use nap mats once a child is a toddler. This can be an adjustment time for your child, but be reassured that most children adapt easily from crib to nap mat as they tend to follow the lead of their peers. You may also find that you enjoy the idea of a nap mat when you travel or when children stay with grandparents or other caregivers.
Many daycares will provide nap mats for the children in their care. Ask about their policies for the age/stage at which children transition from crib to mat for naptime. You may want to consider purchasing your own nap mat to help your child make the transition. This can help in several ways:
If you are a provider or director of a daycare, you can consider purchasing or making nap mats for each child. You can do this by cutting foam core into sizes that fit crib sheets or toddler beds. Be sure the mats are free of any loose debris and be sure to keep sheets clean and sanitized. Use matress pads underneath sheets so they can be easily cleaned in the event of an accident. You can makenaptime and nap matst personal by giving each child a special place that is always his/hers or by having fun designs or names on the mats. Make sure that there is no item in the area that can become entangled around the child or present a choking or other safety hazard.
Daycare nap mats can be a convenient, comfortable, and even fun place for children to take a rest under the direct supervision of their provider. For more information on keeping children safe and healthy in the child care environment, see Extension online courses.